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Grey-throated Rail Canirallus oculeus
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This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Behaviour This species is assumed to be sedentary as no movements have been recorded for it (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It breeds during the rainy season (del Hoyo et al. 1996), and is presumed to be territorial, although there is very little evidence regarding its social organisation or aggregatory behaviour (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Habitat The species inhabits ravines, creeks and streams in primary and secondary lowland rainforest, especially where these are overhung by trees and bordered by rank undergrowth (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It also frequents seasonally flooded and swampy forest in areas with mud, tall arrowroot plants and tree ferns, as well as marshes within forested regions (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), preferring to remain in thickets or patches of fallen branches and avoiding areas of open water (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Diet Its diet consists of insects (e.g. ants, beetles, caterpillars and other larvae), small lizards (e.g. skinks), snails, slugs, small crabs and millipedes (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site Only three nests have been described for this species (Taylor and van Perlo 1998), two being structures of broad grass leaves placed on stumps in swampy surroundings (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), the other being placed among the roots of an uprooted tree over a stream bank (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

This species is threatened by habitat fragmentation (Manu et al. 2007)from forest destruction (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998).

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Delany, S.; Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Manu, S.; Peach, W.; Cresswell, W. 2007. The effects of edge, fragment size and degree of isolation on avian species richness in highly fragmented forest in West Africa. Ibis 149(2): 287-297.

Taylor, B. 1998. Rails: a guide to the rails, crakes, gallinules and coots of the world. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, UK.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Canirallus oculeus. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, Coots)
Species name author (Hartlaub, 1855)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,610,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change